Image

Do you remember…

September has weird colors. The sun is ever-present like it has been all summer. But instead of a warm yellow enveloping the entire town like sunflowers and melted cheese, it is a cold white light – coming in from an angle, painting every color pale and bright and hard to look directly at. It’s not exactly cold, not even chilly in the air, we don’t yet wear more than two thin layers – never a sweater. But it looks the way it does during winter. Minus the piles of snow covering streets and treetops. The colors are still brightly saturated, but covered in a layer of white dust. White, shiny, hard to look at, bright dust.

And sometimes you can forget that you’re sweating as you’re walking down the multiple streets on your way to school – or work – because the white light of the sun makes you a little chilly. Makes you want to look down at the ground and pull whatever thin layer of clothing you have on a little tighter around your body.

Makes you want to pack a sweater next time you go out.

Advertisements
Image

En svensk litteraturanalys – tjejer och hallonbuskar

Kvinnor och äppelträd 

30-talets sverige, mellankrigstiden. Sveriges arbetarklass ligger i fattigdom och klasskillnaderna i landet är uppenbara. Under den här tiden bestämde sig arbetarna för att de också ville skriva böcker. Plötsligt blev litteratur öppet och tilltalande till underklassen. Proletärförfattarna skrev ju om och för sina arbetarklass vänner; det handlade mycket skildringen av människoöden, om livet i fattigdom och hur man kämpade för att klara sig genom dagen. Det var i stor utbredd sett som folkets litteratur (UR, Hej litteraturen!, 2010).

I det här stod Moa Martinson ut som – när man ser tillbaka på henne – den första feministiska författaren. Med en trovärdig och självbiografisk skönlitteratur helt centrerad kring kvinnor och kvinnoöden. “Kvinnor och äppelträd” är en lång och slingrig berättelse om Sally och Ellen som växer upp i samma fattigkvarter i norrköping och möts tillslut som vuxna kvinnor. Tillsammans tar de sig igenom halv-trevliga män och barn i hus där man inte har annat än kaffe och torra kakor. Fattigdom och strävan att få vila sig lite, bara sitta och titta upp på månen under en kall vinterkväll. Moa Martinson skriver spretande och strävande om alla möjliga ingångar till Ellen och Sallys historia – om fadern till mannen som Ellen tillslut skaffar familj med och om Mor Sofi – henne som de båda kan kalla anmoder. Det är en fin historia, en som följer tiden på många sätt, visar den ur olika synvinklar men knyts samman fint tillslut så man lämnas med en känsla av lugn melankoli.

Kvinnor och äppelträd är Moa Martinsons  (wiki, Moa Martinson, 03-26-2018) debutroman som – efter många försök till många bokförlag – väckte stor uppmärksamhet med sitt realistiska språk och sin sexuella frispråkighet. Skildringen av en värld ur en kvinnas ögon slår hårt på beteenden och fördomar. Bara i början till boken – Mor badar – får en att se på världen på ett helt nytt sätt och som en som läser boken nu 2018 kan man bara tänka att “Det var annorlunda förr”:

Mor Sofi och hennes väninna Fredrika badar varje fredag, som en belöning för en veckas arbete. Sofi är mor Sofi för hon är gift med bonden som har mest jord i trakten – hon har femton barn och en man som inte kan jobba på den stora gården han äger. Alla i trakten vet om vad som händer varje vecka: Sofi och Fredrika badar – så gott som ostört tills bonden kallar de luder och får en skopa asklut över sig av de två halvnakna kvinnorna. De två kvinnorna som badade varje fredag. De som av Martinson beskrivs som ståtliga och vackra i ångan där den varma luften inne i bykstugan möter den kalla vinterluften.

“Stor och ståtlig och vit skimrar hon spöklikt mot den mörka januari himlen och bonden står stel av – ja, han vet inte vad.” (Kvinnor och äppelträd, 1991, sid. 13) så beskrivs mor Sofi. Sexuell frispråkighet finns det gott om. Allt från vackra kvinnor i bykstugan som badar varje vecka, till män som kommer upp till små flickors rum på kvällen i fattigkvarteren och ger dem karameller, till den plötsliga åtrån som Ellen känner när hon ligger bredvid sin man – som inte ens en hel dag innan slagit henne till marken så ögat blivit alldeles blått. Där tar det realistiska språket över och drar en nära och tvingar en att känna med flickorna – när Sally som liten lekte med dem fattigaste barnen i farmors kvarter och får dem att göra sönder sin enda leksak, för de trodde på henne, för hon var vacker och hade så ljust lockigt hår. Sally skäms så mycket att hon inte kan stanna kvar hos farmor längre och går hela vägen hem till mamma som skulle komma och hämta henne. Jag vågar nästan säga att jag kände igen mig. Det var inte dramatiskt; scenen i sig var långsam och antiklimatisk men slutade i storgråt och skam – det var realistiskt.

Sen är det så klart den kända scenen från boken, den där Sofi ligger och föder alldeles ensam i hennes stuga upp långt ifrån byn. Ensam, med barn i andra rummet måste hon försöka att inte skrika.

“Sally ligger här nu på ett golv och föder. (…) Ny törn, hon skriker långt ner i bröstet, hest likt en döende. Det sliter i korsryggen, svetten lackar, kroppen kommer i darrning, hon tar ner med handen – nej, ännu ej – det går långsamt, går sakta, stönar hon.”(Kvinnor och äppelträd, 1991, sid. 145) Det är den första realistiskt berättade födseln i svensk litteratur.  Och man säger att Moa Martinson precis som Sally födde barn, ensam i den där stugan.

“Man skulle ha kunnat tro att massorna skulle få sitt inträde i svensk litteratur genom arbetarförfattarna. Detta har skett i ytterst få fall. Den självbiografiska, individualistiska romanen har haft sina företrädare just bland arbetarförfattarna.” (Magnus Nilsson i Arbetet  ,“Den svenska arbetarlitteraturens experimentlusta” 22 – 02-2013 )

Det är sant att mycket arbetarlitteratur är självbiografisk, eller starkt inspirerad av författarens nära. Men det är vad som gör genren till det den är. Det som gör “Kvinnor och äppelträd“ till någonting annat än en kvinnas syn på världen, är just hur trogen till dåtidens arbetarklass den är. Boken – och andra av hennes verk – nådde till delar av det svenska folket som aldrig varit intresserad, eller haft en anledning att läsa innan dess. Det var, som sagt, böcker om och för arbetarklassen. Men i större utsträckning var det böcker och berättelser Av, om och för arbetarklassen. Det självbiografiska var sällan negativt då det större delen av tiden var omformulerat så det passar massorna – det var skönlitteratur minst lika mycket som det var biografisk. Även om Martinson har levt mycket av det hon skriver så framställs det inte som någonting taget ur ett övervägande personligt och svårförstått perspektiv. Hon blev ju speciellt stor just för att hon nådde arbetarklassen/underklassen genom att vara relaterbar i sina berättelser – hennes egna upplevelser som arbetarklass bara la till hur nära man kunde komma ämnet bara genom att läsa hennes bok. Det är den perfekta balansen av skönlitteratur och trogen-till-livet- biografi som gör “Kvinnor och äppelträd” till en känslomässigt stark och tidsmässigt intressant lässtund. Vad som ännu mer ger än en känsla av att man läser direkt ur munnarna på arbetarklassen är de många olika vinklar man får höra historien från. Det är inte bara en historia om två kvinnor som tar sig genom livet – det är en historia om två kvinnor som ser varandra och blir sedda av andra. Ett mycket bra exempel är när ett kapitel handlar om en bonde som kommit till en by där han köper jord för att bygga ett hus till kvinnan han är förälskad i. Hur de andra byborna inte förstår sig på honom, han och hans stora gård med äppelträd ute bakom huset. Senare visar det sig att den här mannen blir far till han som Ellen gifter sig och får barn med. Då plötsligt blir relationen mellan den gamle mannen och Ellen så mycket finare, man får mer att ta på. Det är inte bara Ellens historia – det är Ellen som möter människor som ser på henne och tycker hon är vacker och snäll och vill skydda henne, gifta sig med henne eller sjunga sånger med henne. Innan den gamle mannen får vi höra om hennes matmor när hon bodde/ jobbade på cafe – om hennes son som hon skickade pengar till för att han skulle bli doktor och istället gifte han sig och blev brevbärare. Det finns så många små detaljer i det stora hela och varje karaktär har – som i verkligheten – sin egen historia, sitt eget liv. Detta kommer igenom och gör att boken inte känns som en historia om en eller två individer, utan om en tid, ett land, en rörelse bland människor – krig och liv och död och fattigdom på alla nivåer.

Image

TRART-facebook page…

It is as simple as it looks:

My 3rd-year project is ongoing and the deadline is soon. I now have a facebook page where one can follow some progress, get special previews of my favorite pages and contact me for a copy of the book before I print it ;3

Here’s a link!

Please check it out!

Image

A snooze story

– First day of school –

There were clothes put out on the chair by the table, a packed bag by the hind legs off the bed. A pair of shoes put out neatly by the door. A charged phone on the nightstand that went off at exactly 6:45. The alarm notification read:
“First day of school”
She sat up straight in her bed after two rings and hurried to turn it off before it got to the fourth. In her sleep-dazed hurry she hit snooze instead of turning it off completely…
(10 min.)
She just sat there for a minute – hair in a mess around her head, eyes trying to stay open, mind trying to figure out where she was. Then her gaze focused on the bag by her bed and it hit her. Anxiety mixed with anticipation, like a swarm of bees buzzing and crawling all over her. Tiny wings flapping in her face…
(7 min.)
She opened her eyes again. Had she fallen asleep? She threw the covers off her and moved to step lightly onto the morning cold floor. She then proceeded to look through the clothes she’d put out for herself the day before.
(5 min.)
Carefully – because her hands were not quite awake yet – buttoning buttons and tying bows.
(3 min.)
She took a minute to look herself in the mirror. Not admiring, barely seeing, just lingering. Maybe just as a formality.
(2 min.)
Standing there, dressed and awake – hair still in a mess since the hairbrush was in the bathroom – she breathed out. She was still a little groggy but her eyes stayed open by themselves and she had begun to feel like a real person by then. Her heart rate slowed down. She felt hunger. She through of the breakfast she’d prepared for herself. Ready to be heated up when she came down to the kitchen…
( 0 min.)
The snooze on her alarm rang. She startled and turned around – surprised and confused by it still being on. A creaking sound coming from the other room – she hurried over to the bedside to turn it of. The sudden rush of adrenaline blurred her vision. Unnecessary stress caused her to not look anywhere else but the phone – it’s ringing raising in volume every time the short tune came to an end and started over. Her hands were reached out in panic, to turn it off or at least muffle the sound. She was sweating – it had all happened in an instant – her shirt was wrinkled, bow half undone, hair like a nest on her head. As she stepped forward her foot stuck to the strap of the bag by the bed. Then she could only watch as the phone, and the bedside table, suddenly rushed closer.
(- 2min.)
She laid unmoving. One eye half open, arms stretched out in an odd and ugly way – looking almost broken. Her right foot was still stuck to the strap of the bag, slightly tangled. Blood was calmly dripping from her temple – from a dent in her head that was hid gracefully by her messy hair.
(- 2 hours)
She did not show up for school that day.

Image

In preparation for something – hopefully – better

I’m currently working on finishing my graphic novel – Troublesome Relationships and Road Trips – and in preparation for that I’ve decided to post my first attempt.

Disclaimer: This is an unedited version. This is simply a chapter and me trying to grasp what concept I’m going for – it’s messy and at heart, not finished, but it gives a pretty good hunch of where I’m going.

123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282930

Image

Third date- second base

Third date- second base

Alternative title: When your blind date has a thing for blonds

(This is a late story originally meant for Halloween… it’s kind of graphic, just to warn weak hearted readers… )

Enjoy!


She had invited me to her house.

“I´m making you dinner, all you have to do is bring yourself”, her text said. Then she emailed me the route to take by car.

It was only the third date but also: it was finally the third date. I took some pride in being chosen like this. When a beautiful woman like her invites you to her house like this, you can’t help but wonder what good deed you did that is finally catching up to you. I found myself taking credit for maybe being someone actually likable. Someone to listen to and laugh with. She listened. Her eyes lit up as she asked about my day. She had a way of asking questions that made me want to tell her everything. And she laughed at my jokes! Good god, she laughed at my silly jokes like she´d never experienced something as funny. And somehow I didn’t doubt her when she put her hand on mine on top of the restaurant table. Eyes teary, trying to catch her breath from laughing so hard. And she told me I was hilarious. Then she pulled back with a suddenly serious face.

“I Love hilarious”, she said to clarify her previous statement. I would smile and feel all warm on the inside.

Now, in the cab out to her house located in the woods, I was happy. And eager. Yes, it was only the third date but also: it was finally the third date. Third date equals second base, at least! You can imagine the state I was in as I walked up the porch steps to her door. I was warm and cold and excited and scared all at the same time. But then she opened the door on the second knock and everything was calm. She smiled widely. She said I looked pretty. I didn’t deny it: I felt pretty. She told me to get in from the cold and offered to take my coat. I obliged and watched her as she hung it on a hook beside the door.

“You’re beautiful”, I said, quietly, but she heard. She looked down, turned around and pulled her hand through her hair. She made a nervous joke about hoping there wouldn’t be any kids coming by for trick or treat so that we would be left alone. Then she hurried to lead me out in the kitchen where promised dinner was almost ready to be devoured.

I sat in her sofa after a marvelous dinner. Dreamily I thought, she´d make a perfect wife. I hurried to push that silly image out of my mind (the one where I would come home from work and find her standing in the kitchen making dinner. How I would walk up to her and wrap my arms around her from behind. She´d lean back into my embrace…) and tried to focus on the present – rather than pretentious housewife fantasies. She sat down beside me, suddenly, and shook me out of my food-coma daydreams. I looked at her in shock for a second, then I laughed nervously and brought up my wine glass to my mouth to sip as if nothing was wrong. She just smiled at me. There was something dark in her eyes. I stopped for a moment to look closer and while doing so I unconsciously then leaned closer. She just sat still and allowed me to indulge in her eyes for a moment. Then she reached out and took my glass from me. She placed it gently on the table in front of the sofa and sat back up again. I was slightly confused. Then her hand was on my knee and she was close to my face. Something turned inside my head, a switch. I was on. On and ready to go anytime. She must have noticed. But she chose to take it slow. She moved just close enough for our noses to touch. She was warm and her breath smelled of sweet wine. Her hand moved inches down my leg. Fingers drawing circles on my thigh. Carefully hitching up my skirt. Her eyes locked with mine. It was all blurry but I saw that darkness again. I was almost afraid to label it as lust; maybe I was projecting.

Her hand was now firmly placed, fingers spread out, on my inner thigh.

Maybe I wasn’t.

She pushed her lips onto mine.

Sparks and chills shoot out through my arms to my fingertips and down my spine. A warm coil of feelings awoke in my lower abdomen. Her other hand was tangled in my hair. Her lips were sweetly moving against mine. She twirled my hair around her fingers and pulled lightly. I made a purring noise of approval that had my mouth opened slightly. She pushed her tongue past my lips. Her hand was wandering so close to me now. I had my hand on her back. I found the knot that held her wonderfully revealing dress together. I worked on it as she touched me and moved her tongue around the inside of my mouth. It was so very warm. The heat between us was almost unbearable. Almost. I knew what was to come. I could wait. It could do me good with a slow, sticky start. It hadn’t been years but with her, right now, it felt like I was being touched for the first time. Like I was experiencing my first kiss.

The sudden cold startled me more than the sharp pain in my side and the warmth of blood soaking through my clothes. The knife had slid smoothly in between my crop top and my jeans. She held it still, deep in my body. One hand still tangled in my hair and her hot lips over mine. I whined, more in shock than in pain.

“It´s okay” she whispered onto my skin. And I was warm. Still so warm. She moved her hand to my neck. She pushed the knife into me and pushed me back. I leaned back, safe in her hand holding my neck. Allowed her to lay me down on the sofa. She kept reassuring me that everything would be all right as she climbed up to straddle my hips. Still holding the knife secure in my side. She took my hand and led it to the handle of the knife.

“Hold still” she said as my hand shook with effort to hold the handle. I breathed through my teeth and clenched the handle tight. She let go. She knife moved. I yelled loudly at the pain rushing through my body. I wanted to puke. I felt dizzy at the clearness of the cold steel tucked nicely into my hot flesh. The contrast made my sight blur and the tightness in my chest feel like sadness rather than fear. My head fell to the side and I watched her back as she walked through the room to the kitchen. She was really beautiful in that dress. I had no words. She turned around when she came to the kitchen stove. Our eyes met and she smiled. I smiled back. Or at least I tried, but everything hurt. She turned around and pushed something above the stove. Something like a button or… was she pulling a lever? At any case, it caused something to move. Through my blurred sight I saw a huge black mouth opening up in her kitchen wall. A passage. A door to a dark basement. She sighed and sounded pleased. Then she came back to me. She grabbed me by the wrists and pulled me violently off the sofa. I screamed and the knife fell onto the floor.

“You’ve really made a mess haven’t you,” she said as she started to drag me over the floor. I was crying. The yellow sofa had turned into a nice red. I screamed and cried and called her name as she dragged me towards the black gap in the kitchen. She went back to saying everything would be fine. She started cooing like I was a scared animal. She called me pretty. She told me “You’re so beautiful, today especially,” she told me she had planned to wait a little longer. That she didn’t expect me to show up looking like this. I though “like what” it was nothing out of the ordinary. Just a little makeup. Clothes to show you put an effort into it. She said it was better like this. We came to the stairs. As my body fell down, one step at the time, she said she loved me. That she would never regret doing this. That I was almost the best so far. We came to the last step and a lamp was lit. She dropped me on the floor. I just whined. I couldn’t move or scream anymore. Something was shoved into the wound in my side and I was itched up by a chain. My scream was hoarse and weak and not worthy to be called a scream. Then I cried some more. She was in front of me. Petting my hair and kissing my eyelids. Tracing my jaw to my throat and drawing patterns on my chest with her fingernails.

“I really like your hair like this” she whispered. I cried. She walked over to a table a little to the side and the room was suddenly open for me. I saw the stairs up to the kitchen. The traces of blood leading all the way from under me to the light atop the stairs. I saw the width of the room. The bodies hanging from the ceiling.

Then she appeared in my view again. She was holding a syringe and smiling fondly. She cupped my jaw gently, leaned forward and kissed me. Then she stabbed the syringe in my neck. I exhaled roughly. Dark spots appeared before me and soon, I was gone.